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When it comes to productivity, employees can’t be managed in the same way. That’s because some employees just naturally exude productivity, juggling life commitments and work responsibilities. But other employees seem to procrastinate or just simply stay focused long enough to reach their full potential. How can managers get these employees to increase their efforts by staying more organized and productive?

1) First, recognize the most productive employees.

Managers can use the power of employee recognition to set productivity standards in an organization. Publicly rewarding employees that produce more will keep them motivated. But it will also set the standard for your less than productive workers.

2) Second, try to quantify what the productive employees are doing.

 What are they doing that you can replicate in the organization? Are there tools they are using that others can benefit from? Try sitting down with the employee over lunch to talk about what makes them so good at what they do. Then see if you can enlist their help.

3) Third, set up employee mentoring.

Is there a way for the less productive employees to have mentoring from the top producers? Even if they can shadow the other employee for a few days, which could help them better understand what is possible in their job. Then team up the more productive employee in a mentor/mentee role to provide periodic support to their less productive colleagues. Remember to ask the productive employee if they are willing to take this role on before dumping it in their lap. Once you get their buy-in, reward the mentor in some way, whether it’s a bump in pay or some other perk to let them know how much you appreciate their help.

4) Fourth, consider micromanagement.

Good managers know that if you have a great employee that is being highly productive the best thing you can do is step back and support them in their efforts. But the less productive employee may benefit from your intervention. Working more closely with the employee you are trying to improve is important. Sitting with them and teaching them the skills and tactics that will keep them more organized and productive will be an important part of their growth. In these instances, it may be okay to become a micromanager – at least until their performance improves.

During these processes, the manager needs to use and hone a number of their own skills, including:

  • Developing clear communication between you and the employees you serve. Communication is the key to employee productivity. Are you setting the right expectations with all of your workers?
  • Setting goals and expectations for all employees with periodic measurement of their progress is particularly important if you’re trying to increase productivity across a diverse workforce.
  • Matching skills to tasks is an important part of optimizing employee efficiency. Take a look at your workforce and consider if you have the right people in the right seats on the bus.

When matching skills to tasks, you may find that you simply don’t have the right team members to help your company succeed. When that happens, contact IES to discuss how to improve your candidate pool.

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